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Use of Learning Technologies
A. Introduction

The Statement on Continuing Professional Education issued by the Institute requires that the Continuing Professional Education Committee (CPEC) shall issue directions and other instruments from time to time to enable program designers, developers and organisers as well as all other persons connected with Continuing Professional Education (CPE) activities at Programme Organizing Units (POUs) level as defined in the Statement on CPE, to discharge their responsibilities.


POUs may adopt appropriate learning technologies much beyond the guidance and direction contained in this advisory to meet the knowledge requirements to the members of the Institute to maintain their core competencies as well as develop contemporary and futuristic technical inputs to maintain world-class professional standards.

B. Nature of CPE Programmes and Learning Technologies

The CPEC is of the view that appropriate learning technologies have to be used to enable the objectives and outcomes expected out of each CPE Programme.


The CPE Programme and the learning technologies adopted should be based on the following important factors:

  • Geographical profile in which the member practices / serves

  • Practice / service profile of the members

  • Programmes of General Nature and Industry Specific

  • Obligatory and Optional topics as required by the CPE Calendar

  • Overall substance of the programmes, whether they revolve around topics of traditional or contemporary nature or they are focusing on futuristic knowledge expectations from the members.

C. Important Learning Technologies

The CPEC has identified some important learning technologies, which the POUs could explore for adoption. It may be noted that the technologies explained are indicative only.

C.02 Lectures
  The 'lectures' as a learning technology involves:
  • Address by an expert on a predetermined topic for certain time duration

  • Query clarification either during or after the address of the expert

CPE Programmes conducted through the teleconferencing and video conferencing, web based interactive programmes may also be considered as lectures.

Lectures with audiovisuals support will be effective wherein the lecturer can make use of teaching aids like, overhead projector (OHP), LCD Displays with Power Point Presentations, short films (by multimedia projectors and other similar aids) in support of his lecture.

Support Functions:The Programme Organisers to the extent possible

Provide detailed reading material to the participants covering the topic on which the expert has been requested to address. Technical papers prepared by the concerned expert or CPE Background materials published by the Institute on the relevant topic shall be distributed as background material. (For detailed guidance in this regard, please refer CPE Advisory on Development of Background Materials)

C.03 Problem solving

The 'Problem solving' as a learning technology involves

  • Solving Routine problems,

  • Applying analytical methods,

  • Developing creative methods for unstructured problems


Support Functions : The programme organizers to the extent possible

  1. Include additional context with problems that have been discussed in the CPE programmes so that members develop skills in selecting appropriate tools or methods for different situations

  2. Provide detailed solutions, which describe the reasoning for various steps in the problem solving process. Whenever possible, share alternative solutions found by members of the programme.

C.04 Case Studies

The 'Case Studies' as a learning technology involves primarily an objective reporting of a situation or a set of situations so as to depict - without drawing any inferences - links to some theory or a set of analytical techniques. A `case' is primarily a narrative, which can read either like a short story (especially those which deal with strategy or human resource problems) or an executive summary (for financial cases). A case study may highlight issues as seen by some of the actors in the case. The analysis of the case proves whether such highlighting is appropriate on not. Typically, a case study will have included in it all relevant financial and other data, which the author of the case considers necessary to analyse the case. To what extent the author is right in his assumptions in this regard determines the actual usefulness of the case as a learning tool. A discussion of a case is often detailed and may make reference to events, incidents, real life occurrences, or other cases.


Support Functions : The programme organizers to the extent possible

  1. Simplify real cases to focus member attention on just 1-2 issues of interest in the CPE Programme. Or, instead of written materials, consider using a videotape or oral presentation to get the discussion started.

  2. Provide questions for which members prepare brief answers in advance of the discussion.

  3. Give members an opportunity to discuss the case in small groups before the large group discussion.

  4. Provide for a variety of open-ended questions to promote discussion (e.g. discussion starters, probing for details or interpretations, connecting to theory, analysis of evidence, hypotheticals, predictions, evaluations, summaries)

C.05 Reports/Memoranda/Briefings

Reports / Memoranda / Briefings, as a learning technology are `caselets' or very short cases. Usually accompanied by a limited amount of data needed to analyse the particular situation to which the `caselet' refers, or the application of a single analytical tool. Of these, a Report is longer in presentation and serves to highlight issues directly. Memoranda and briefings are more `true caselets' and can be used as examples to support contentions made during a longer presentation. They are like `long numericals' in a mathematics class. Analysis of briefings and memoranda - when they are used as learning tools, serves to reinforce immediate theoretical inputs. Analysis of Reports serves to highlight `dos and don'ts' in regard to application of theory or analytical tools.


Support Functions : The programme organizers to the extent possible

  1. Describe in their initial description of the assignment the criteria, which successful documents of this particular kind should meet

  2. Encourage members to seek feedback from the faculty or peers on work in progress by allotting some programme time for discussion of writing issues or, when possible, for peer comments on early outlines or drafts.

C.06 Role Playing and Simulations

'Role Playing and Simulations' as a learning technology involves

  1. Understanding for different points of view (e.g., in negotiation)

  2. Practice a general or specific interactive skill (e.g., collective bargaining),

  3. Synthesizing skills in solving problems (e.g., in management)

  4. Members may be asked to respond in writing to a case or situation from the perspective of a particular role, members may be asked to change roles.


Support Functions : The programme organizers to the extent possible

  1. Brief members about expectations and rules (e.g., whether or not you might "freeze" the simulation to discuss an issue before continuing).

  2. Allocate enough time in programme for thorough discussion and debriefing of the role-play or simulation.

  3. Request the faculty to show how to take on a role fully and to model risk-taking.

  4. End the role-play or simulation at a high point so that there will be plenty of energy and interest in the discussion.

C.07. Management Games

'Management Games' as a learning technology involves -

  1. Prescription of certain imaginary scenarios requiring certain decision making by the managers

  2. Participants will be required to make certain decisions as managers of those scenarios

  3. Implications of the decisions will be analysed by the resource persons conducting such management games and the decisions, which are appreciated by majority of the parties involved, will be declared as winners.

  4. Decisions by other participants will be analysed and the areas where there exists scope for improvements will be advised to the participants concerned.


Support Functions : The programme organizers to the extent possible

  1. Analysis constructively of the decisions of the participants to enable them to understand where they had not taken the right decisions.

  2. Provide technical inputs sufficiently in advance to enable the participants to take the right decisions.

C.08 e-learning $

'e-learning' as a learning technology involves extensive use of the internet (World Wide Web) wherein using computers as the learning medium, participants involve in learning activities.

e-learning assures the programme organisers to have cost Savings depending on application, size of participants etc., and the shortening the Cycle Time "time-to-insight" and "time-to-competence" and competent member force into field faster. Elearning also attract & Retain Talent and demonstrate willingness to invest in people and provide range of learning options

$ Members of the Institute undertaking e-learning, being unstructured CPE Activity, are not eligible for getting CPE Credits. Nevertheless, this advisory covers e-learning technology also since the Institute will cover it as an eligible CPE activity in due course of time.


Support Functions : The programme organizers to the extent possible

  • Personalise the e-learning system to adjust to learners' needs, preferences and learning styles.

  • To maintain interactivity in the e-learning approach that engages the e-learner

  • To ensure just-in-time delivery so that the e-learners access learning when they need it.

  • Make sure to employ current content systems which can easily update material and keep it relevant

  • To adopt distributed approach wherein learning is accessible anywhere that the learner can access the Internet or intranets

  • To build - in relevance learning that aligns with the specific needs and tasks, which is the key to cost-effective learning in the workplace

  • To make available the learning system at a format and size that fit learner needs in a specific situation

C.09 Panel Discussions

'Panel Discussions' as a learning technology involves

  1. A panel of members preparing and presenting a multiple viewpoint discussion of a complex case where other members of the programme may have reviewed only a case summary. Alternatively members may prepare to play the roles of various types of professional boards or committees and respond to proposals or arguments from other members of the programme.

  2. Evaluation of arguments, formulating questions amongst the participants

  3. An expert acting as 'Moderator' conducts the entire discussion in such a way that all members - who have their views - are provided reasonable time to put forward their viewpoints.

  4. Enabling members to verbalize what they are learning.

  5. Providing a socializing mechanism, examine and clarify confusing concepts, and raise value questions.


Support Functions : The programme organizers to the extent possible

  1. Request the moderator to synchronise / screen the questions in such a way that the time devoted by the experts / participants are value adding to the discussions.

  2. Be clear about the respective roles of the panel participants and other Programme members, e.g., whether they are to present only an assigned position or to integrate their own evaluations in their presentation.

  3. Facilitate a meeting among panel members prior to the presentation to review and coordinate their plans

  4. To provide opportunities for members to verbalize what they are learning in the programme venue, that is considered to be a highly effective way of promoting active engagement in discussion. This will also enable the resource persons to provide the feedback, which is an important part of the learning process.

C.10 Participants' Projects and Presentations
  Requiring the participants of a CPE Programme to submit project reports with / without presentations by them about the projects undertaken by them is another learning technology which the POUs could adopt for long duration CPEPs.

Project reports and presentations revolve around a practical problems relevant to accounting profession, which requires appropriate investigation by the participants concerned, and bringing solutions based on acceptable solutions and proper logics.

Support Functions : The programme organizers to the extent possible

  1. Provide appropriate guidance for selecting the problem for investigation / research

  2. Suggest sound tools to solve the problems

  3. Provide guidance regarding proper presentation

C.11. Group Learning Workshops

Group learning workshops, as a learning technology, explore issues in, and provide information about, innovative practices in the areas of professional service and involve group-based learning.

Small-group teaching in Continuing Professional Education is widely recognised as important and if they are to be successful, they have to focus on enhancing group-based learning.


Group learning workshops are best suited for:

  • Developments in current professional practice and the implications of change;

  • Emerging areas of professional practice and key issues involved in such emerging areas;

  • Presentation of case studies illustrating how to address such key issues identified;

  • Consideration of the differences in tradition and practice between discipline areas;

  • Sharing of expertise and experiences amongst delegates.


Support Functions : The programme organizers to the extent possible

  1. Use of simulations, analysis tools and web resources as well as communication facilities

  2. Present findings, tools and resources by the group leaders (resource persons) to support group-based learning and teaching in Continuing Professional Education.

  3. Delegates should familiarise themselves with some case study materials prior to the workshop. This will enable them to reduce the time spent on presentations at the workshop and focus more on working sessions.

C.12. Consultative Workshops

Consultative workshops involve learning similar to group learning with a difference that the delegates profile will cover all interested groups in a particular topic.

For example, a consultative workshop on Bank Audit may comprise members (auditors), officials of Banks (auditees) and officials of Reserve Bank of India (Regulators). The workshop will provide a platform to all the delegates - with diverse interests - to sort of the issues of common concern.


Support Functions : The programme organizers to the extent possible

  1. Circulate the points for discussion well in advance so that the participants can with appropriate preparations.

  2. Arrange to circulate the proceedings of the workshop so that it becomes a reference point for all the participants.

D. Strategies for conducting CPEPs

The term Continuing Professional Education is used in the Statement on Continuing Professional Education to describe the educational activities that assist the members to achieve and maintain the required quality in the professional services that they render. Accordingly the CPE Programmes are primarily meant for maintaining and increasing the competency levels of the members of the Institute. While the Section C of this Advisory has attempted to provide an overview of the various learning technologies, this Section as well as the following Sections (viz., E and F) contains certain advices from the point of view of the resource persons and programme organisers to make the CPE Programmes more appealing to the participants. The CPE advisory on Programme Development may be referred for detailed guidance on the basic components and structures of CPE Programmes.


POUs should know that the members are a different kind of learners. Accordingly, appropriate strategies have to be followed for conducting CPEPs. Some guidance in this regard is being given in the following paragraphs:

D.03 Resource person behaviours

Being prepared with tried and proven strategies to assist member learning is important to the resource persons. Some principles to remember are:

  1. The resource person is a facilitator of learning.

    The resource persons should know beforehand the learning objectives of the particular CPE Programme, participants profile and available learning technologies for those programmes. It should be appreciated that considering the complexities in subjects / topics that are relevant to our members, it may not be always possible to the resource persons to know everything in a particular subject / topic. In other words, members should not expect technical resource persons to know all about the subject / topic, they can expect, however, the technical resource person to facilitate achievement of the learning objectives of the CPE Programme.

  2. Understand your teaching situation.

    When making the preparation, resource persons may consider the following questions:

    • Is this programme part of a competitive program?

    • Are the goals clarified for the members?

    • Can projects / case studies be developed to meet the member's needs?

  3. Allow for individual differences.

    The diversity of adult learners today is significant. Allow for this by giving individual help, knowing member's names, and being aware of differing backgrounds.

  4. Vary teaching activities. Use different activities in the Programme venue.

    Try new ideas. Some experts recommend changing activities every 20 minutes.

  5. Develop a supportive climate.

    Members must be made to feel that the resource persons are there to support them in the learning process.

  6. Be sensitive to barriers.

    Some members, may be due to factors like age, mental blocks, non-interest in the technical deliberations bring with them unsuccessful previous educational experience, the time barrier, stress etc., which have to be overcome by the resource persons.

Although there may not be prescribed procedures to address all of the above, resource persons should prepare themselves to be effective in all of these roles. Professional reading, discussions with colleagues and mentors, and teaching workshops will assist them in the development of necessary skills.

E. Stimulating critical thinking - Role of Resource Persons

Critical thinking can best be stimulated by raising questions and by offering challenges about a specific issue or statement. Many members still like the "right" answer from the resource persons. Critical thinking in instruction goes far beyond that. Critical thinking involves asking the right kind of questions and goes so far as letting members develop assumptions and analyze (either in groups or individually) those assumptions. They may then examine alternatives to their assumptions


Some types of questions to ask might be: "What is the source of your information?" "What are your personal experiences in relation to the information?" "What are differing positions?" "What are your feelings on the topic?" "Why?" "Do you agree?" Allow think and wait time. If members take a position on an issue, ask them for an alternate position.

F Cooperative (Collaborative) Learning

While the Section C has attempted to provide brief details about the various learning technologies that are considered relevant to the CPE Programmes, and sections D, and E contained certain advices from the point of view of the resource persons to make the CPE Programmes more appealing to the participants, this section is devoted to discussion about an important educational technique as a supplement to the various learning technologies.


Cooperative learning (also called collaborative learning) is one of the oldest educational techniques and can be used in CPE Programme venues. In theory, cooperative learning brings members with differing abilities together into small groups where they teach each other the concepts of the Programme by reinforcing lecture and text materials. In practice, members either work on specific projects cooperatively or take selected quizzes and/or tests together. The process forces all members to become actively involved in Programme room activities. Adult learners relate to cooperation in the Programme room because of the cooperation required in most workplaces.


For resource persons, the two basic prerequisites of cooperative learning are thorough planning and a total commitment. As a facilitator the resource person becomes an ideal person, a resource person, a mediator (conflict resolution is as much of an accomplishment in cooperative education as it is in the workplace or in life itself), and a supporter of the members' efforts. Virtually all-types of CPE Programmes can benefit from this technique.


Preliminary planning includes a discussion of Programme goals, specific activities that can be assigned cooperatively, and the balance sought between traditional and cooperative Programme activities. If grades are going to be assigned for group work, the members must be made aware of this at the beginning of the programme.


The optimum size for a work group is four or five members; more members can be unwieldy while fewer opens the door to dominant members. Groups can be formed by

  1. Members themselves,

  2. The resource person assigning members to a group,

  3. Random assignment, or

  4. Selection based upon similar interest or specific criteria.

Disadvantages of member-based selection are that members may choose to be with friends, who exclude assimilation of new members into the mainstream of the Programme, and there may be stress in arranging groups if members do not know each other and have no basis for selection.


The benefits of cooperative learning include the following:

  1. Adults have a vehicle to get to know others in Programme;

  2. Attendance tends to be better (a result of a commitment to the group);

  3. Increased understanding of the subject matter;

  4. Programme groups lead to study groups outside of Programme; and members become participants in their own learning.

Resource persons regularly must re-evaluate their programme styles to accommodate changes in technology and demands of members. Cooperative learning is but one of many viable strategies to encourage participation by members.

F. Feedback

Obtaining members' feedback is instrumental to good instruction. Most resource persons rely upon members' questions and responses in Programme for their feedback. Good feedback, however, is too important to leave to chance.

A suggestive feedback form has been given in Advisory on CPE Documentation. The organizers of CPE Programmes should prepare Consolidated Feedback Form and analyse the same to improve the CPE Programmes in the light of the suggestions given by the members.

G Conclusion

It will be good idea that POUs should consult the technical resource persons well in advance about the learning technology to be adopted in each CPE Programme so that they may felt involved in the entire programme development in the overall interest of the members.

H Effective Date
  This advisory will become effective from 1st July 2003.

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